Moments after his first Super Bowl victory, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged a bittersweet feeling that the Lombardi Trophy came at his brother's expense.
"It's tough. It's very tough," John Harbaugh said after defeating Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. "It's a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It's very painful."
John went even deeper, telling Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he was "totally devastated" for his brother.
While the older brother was a picture of graciousness, the younger brother has drawn criticism for complaining about a questionable no-call on the 49ers' final offensive play.
"I really want to handle this with class," Jim Harbaugh said after the game, "(but) there is no question in my mind that there was a pass interference and a hold on (Michael) Crabtree on the last one."
It's unrealistic to expect the brothers to handle the outcome with the same aplomb. As a 14-year NFL quarterback, Jim's competitive fires burn closer to the surface. He's a picture of unbridled intensity. Politically correct answers don't come as naturally as they do for John, who has learned how to compartmentalize defeat as the less-heralded Harbaugh.
We can appreciate John's gentler approach without demanding a change from Jim. After all, the older brother believes the more intense younger brother is "the best coach in football right now."